I have been a firm believer that the future of video games will look much like the app market on cell phones, and it seems last years sales statistics back my beliefs.
In 2012 the sales for Video Games (not consoles or accessories) were $14.8 billion , $5.92 billion of that being digitally distributed games, DLC, and apps. That’s a 16% jump over 2011 digital downloads, however physical game sales continue to drop. The physical game sales for 2012 were $8.88 billion which is a 21% drop from the previous year. While this doesn’t seem like a issue, there is one big problem. The digital sales are increasing at a slower pace than the physical sales are declining, and this caused video game sales revenue for 2012 to drop by 9% (or 1.33 billion dollars).
Gamestop has been hit pretty hard by this decrease as they deal mainly in physical copies, they have announced they plan to close about 250 stores in the year 2013 due to decreased revenue.
These changes lead me to believe that next gen consoles will have a much more developed app market. I also believe many development companies will catch on and focus on much more digital content, we may possibly see developers that only make digital content. This is also why I think Ouya will be a big hit, and it could potentially be the direction many games are headed.
What are your thoughts on the future of video games? do you like digital content or physical content better?
I personally think having the physical game sitting in your collection is far more fulfilling that a digital copy can ever be. But this is what many have said about books and yet millions of people switched to the Kindle.